Sheila Dong is a poet and writer based in Tucson, AZ. They are the author of Moon Crumbs (Bottlecap Press, 2019) and Swan as a Verb (dancing girl press, forthcoming), and have work published in 40+ literary venues. They are a 2021 & 2022 Best of the Net nominee and a poetry reader for Random Sample Review. An alum of Oregon State University's MFA program, Sheila is Chinese-American, nonbinary, and aro-queer.


“Cheat Sheet for the Study of the Urban Stratum, 100 Million Years from Now,” “Fairytale for the End of Life on Earth, 800 Million to 2.8 Billion Years from Now,” “Interview with an Evaporating Black Hole, 10^100 Years from Now,” and “Field Guide to Objects in the Void: Boltzmann Brain” in Bat City Review (Print)"impostor pantoum" in RHINO Poetry (Print)"Tableau with Bloodeaters and Baby Birds" in SWWIM"Meet Me at Epsilon Eridani," "Cephalophore," and "Disembodied" in Wax Nine Journal"planetarium" in Variant Literature (nominated for Best of the Net 2022)"An Aromantic Watches The Expanse" in Tinderbox Poetry Journal"Slow Learner" in Ghost City Review"7 dreams of life and death" in Radar Poetry"On Hawthorne" in Lines + Stars"tea disservice" and "dearest friend" in Menacing Hedge"under the turtle light" in Up the Staircase Quarterly"Tracery" in Whale Road Review"Daylight Saving" in Sheila-Na-Gig"The Phoenix Speaks" and "The Ballad of Lan Caihe" in beestung"changeling" in The Night Heron Barks"absentee" and "two pennies" in B O D Y"magic eye picture," "bad influence," and "reckoning" in Gone Lawn"fruit," "mirror," and "pigments" in Heavy Feather Review"The Tights She Wore" in Stone of Madness Press"lucid dreams," "made in america," "the fiend as a girl," and "in vitro" in SOFTBLOW"witness" in The Citron Review"chromatic" and "online dating profile" in Juke Joint"How You Thought It Would Happen" in Rust + Moth"stridulation" (Nominated for Best of the Net 2021) and "lullaby" in Rogue Agent"things that are true" in Pretty Owl Poetry (p. 26)"swan as a verb" in Stirring"Apache-Sitgreaves" in Rockvale Review"You have no reason to be this upset," in Open Minds Quarterly (Print)"Ouroboros," "News Cycle," "Glut," and "Letters to Blue" in Old Pal Mag"A narwhal's tusk" and "How Are You?" in Arcturus"Leading Questions" (essay) in Palimpsest (Print)"The Garden of Eating" in Moonsick Magazine"The Dreamly Prey," "Fox Pup," "Cygnets," and "Beautiful Hospital" in Menacing Hedge"Song of the Salt Pillar" and "Pulchritude" in Prairie Margins (Print)"#stuckinthevoid" in Runestone"On Being Thrust into Legal Adulthood" in Glass Mountain (Print)"Rise" in Words Dance"When I Loved Pyrobabe," "Soliloquy," "Rapture," "But Wait - There's Less!," "Hypochondriac," "Life Dissipates Art," "Artifact," and "Ascensions" in Persona (Print)"Stale Coffee" in Sun and Sandstone (Print)"Confabulated" in Scribendi (Print)"A Particular Kind of Poem" in Collision Magazine (Print)"Paradox of Entailment" in Verbatim Found Poetry

Moon Crumbs


Prose poetry chapbook, Bottlecap Press, 2019

What are moon crumbs? Tidbits to light your way. Surreal, poem-like pieces that tell of hurt transfigured to healing, of the strangeness and wonder of growing up, of finding beauty in the face of inevitable loss. Moon crumbs are bite-sized, paragraph-length confections that taste alternately sweet, bitter, and savory; playful, sad, and rapturous. The speakers in this chapbook find their joy in nature, language, body, and artifacts of living, but most of all in love and human connection. So what are moon crumbs? Call them prose poems, call them lyrical vignettes, call them snacks for the soul, sprinkled down from a luminous place.

"Sheila Dong's work is transformative, constantly doing the grief work of turning damage into a portal of healing. I heard them read once, at this little place in Portland, Oregon, back in 2019, & I've always found some charged shard of light in their words." —Michael Wasson, author of This American Ghost and Swallowed LightReview by Ally Harris in The Poetry Question
Goodreads page

Swan as a Verb

Poetry chapbook, dancing girl press, forthcoming

Swan (as a noun)
• A bird of the genus Cygnus.
Swan (as a verb)
• To move in a carefree, flamboyant manner.
• The second chapbook by Sheila Dong.
• A testament to bright, perishable moments; to tenderness, survival, and love. The speakers in these poems move from lust at the grocery store to euphoria in the woods, from getting lost in the snow to finding portals to alternate lives. They eat candy, make puns, and set themselves on fire. They report from the epicenter of their young years and the end of the universe. This collection sings of moments that feel familiar and moments that will never happen again.